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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011 Jun;5(6):e1202. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001202. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

Pyrethroid resistance reduces the efficacy of space sprays for dengue control on the island of Martinique (Caribbean).

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  • 1Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UR016 CCPV/UMR MIVEGEC, Montpellier, France. sebastien.marcombe@ird.fr



Dengue fever is reemerging on the island of Martinique and is a serious threat for the human population. During dengue epidemics, adult Aedes aegypti control with pyrethroid space sprays is implemented in order to rapidly reduce transmission. Unfortunately, vector control programs are facing operational challenges with the emergence of pyrethroid resistant Ae. aegypti populations.


To assess the impact of pyrethroid resistance on the efficacy of treatments, applications of deltamethrin and natural pyrethrins were performed with vehicle-mounted thermal foggers in 9 localities of Martinique, where Ae. aegypti populations are strongly resistant to pyrethroids. Efficacy was assessed by monitoring mortality rates of naturally resistant and laboratory susceptible mosquitoes placed in sentinel cages. Before, during and after spraying, larval and adult densities were estimated. Results showed high mortality rates of susceptible sentinel mosquitoes treated with deltamethrin while resistant mosquitoes exhibited very low mortality. There was no reduction of either larval or adult Ae. aegypti population densities after treatments.


This is the first documented evidence that pyrethroid resistance impedes dengue vector control using pyrethroid-based treatments. These results emphasize the need for alternative tools and strategies for dengue control programs.

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